Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Worldwar: Tilting the Balance by Harry S. Turtledove

Tilting the Balance (Worldwar Series, Volume 2)Ok, so I wasn't all that enthused about the first book in this series by Turtledove, but the selection was slim at the library, and I'd kinda gotten caught up in a couple of the characters' stories, so I decided to keep on reading.

In this second book, The Race, a bunch of lizard men bent on conquering Earth, has been brought somewhat to a standstill by the unorthodox tactics of humans around the globe, and the advent of winter, which the cold-blooded lizzies can't tolerate as well as the mammals. The former Axis and Allies have managed to capture some of The Race's war machinery, and are trying to comprehend its technology - solid state circuitry, ceramic alloys, hydrogen fuel, and have also captured a sample of plutonium, from which the Germans, Russians, Americans and Japanese are feverishly trying to create an atomic bomb which they can use to stop the relentless lizards.

The lizards have another unforeseen problem in their conquest. Many of their males have become addicted to ginger. This earth spice has an effect similar to cocaine on their metabolism - a feeling of excitement, invincibility and euphoria. It is also immediately physically and psychologically addictive for them. Understandably, soldiers under the effects of ginger suffer from impaired judgement in combat, which isn't helping their cause.

Turtledove manages to kill off some of our favorite humans in this book, though I won't spoil it by telling you which ones. This book still leaps around the globe quickly, changing POV at will, but the sections are now longer, I think, possibly because he's managed to downsize the POV pool by attrition.
Anyway, a solid but uninspiring read.

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